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Welcome! We wrote Finding Steady Ground to make a small contribution to grounding people in these times. Without grounding, we get drawn away from vision and sucked into a vortex of reactivity and despair. Social movements and social activity thrive when they come from grounded places. So, for us, this isn’t about self-care but about movement-care.
Reading a list of behaviors is one thing, implementing is another. So in these messages we’ll focus on one commitment at a time, starting with the first item from the list. And we’d love to hear from you about how you’re implementing these behaviors!
#1: I will make a conscious decision about when and where I’ll get news — and what I’ll do afterwards.
Why is this important?
An unstated, underlying goal of most news outlets these days is to play on emotions, to set up an addiction that keeps people coming back for more. What better way to sell your product? It’s like when the weather people forecast big storms days in advance, and everyone stays glued to their radios and screens, or the cycle of 24-hour TV channels where every story is presented as urgent and “breaking news.”
Think about your favorite junk food. The first bite seems like exactly what you most want and need. Once you’ve taken that bite, you usually feel compelled to take another, then another, and then just one more — till you find that you’ve eaten it all, and you feel pretty sick. And we’re most vulnerable to getting sick binging out on junk food when we’re not feeling great to start with. Approach the news like highly-addictive junk food.
News channels — and this includes the range of most media and opinion outlets — are not working towards our psychological balance. In fact, they’re playing on our emotions. They’re betting that we’ll not only keep consuming news, but we’ll pass along our unsettled feelings to others. You may have gotten, or even shared, news precisely because it seemed so outrageous.
So what to do?
Setting boundaries of any sort is a good start. It is an assertive step, and creates a kind of psychic protection. This includes deciding which news sources we let into our minds and hearts — and also how we process it. Do you get our news when you’re feeling most vulnerable? Do you read the news and then choose an activity to reassert our agency and balance? Do you follow links because the title grabs you emotionally — or do you select your trusted news services and follow them?
What else will you do to implement #1? How have you done this week? Drop us a quick note letting us know what’s working. We recommend writing a note to a friend on how you’re implementing item #1 in the upcoming weeks.
You’re not in this alone. Keep sharing! Keep loving!
– Daniel Hunter and Pamela Haines
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|Just released: Finding Steady Ground in Spanish (Buscando terreno firme): es.findingsteadyground.com. Por favor comparta con otras personas!